Open Access, Digital Libraries, E-Archives: Virtual Classics, Textbooks and Other Gems
June 5, 2009
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This is the 300th post on the EBM & Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC blog. Woot… please drop me a line and let me know how I’m doing!
Medical and dental students have one more exam to complete, and then will have a few well-deserved weeks of vacation. They may even have time to read for pleasure.
A brief article entitled “Textbook Death Watch“ posted on Tech & Learning (May 1 2009) caught my eye, and that prompted a search-expedition for open access libraries of digital works available to anyone to use. The list below is not meant to be inclusive… only representative.
A related article on the Wired section (free to all) from the Chronicle of Higher Education (May 13 2009) discusses the migration from ‘real’ books to digital archives at University of Oklahoma: at this link. An article published in the Washington Post (May 19 2009) about the scope, reach and legal considerations of Google Books is worth a read.
Digital Collections from Non-Academic Sources
- A classic and long-lived source for E-Books: the Project Guttenberg website where 28,000 online books are available at no cost.
- WOWIO is a site for free texts, comics and graphics novels. Their About page states that it is “…the only source where readers can legally access high-quality copyrighted ebooks from leading publishers for free. Readers have access to a wide range of offerings, including works of classic literature, college textbooks, comic books, and popular fiction and non-fiction titles. ”
A Collection of Digital or E-Text Collections hosted by Academic Institutions
A Few Audio Book-Sources
Recommendations by Readers or Bloggers
- A list of “Life Changing Books” recommended by readers came from OpenCulture (published Aug 19 2007). Note: The titles are linked to Amazon but some of these titles on the list are in the public domain and available through several of the E-book sites shown above (i.e., open access).
- Good Reads is a valuable website – type in a book title or author, and the site will “suggest” similar works. For example, here is a list of novels about “Magical Realism” novels suggested by readers.
Hard to Describe Sites
- Dreaming Methods describes itself as “a fusion of writing and atmospheric new media that explores digital storytelling, imaginary memories and dream-inspired states“. And their List of Links to other literary sites is worth visiting.
- We Tell Stories (digital fiction from Penguin Books UK) is part novel, part Google Maps.
Finally, two sites not for enjoying literature as much as for savoring historical images.
- Calisphere (a digital library project for the State of California, hosted by the University of California-Berkeley), which is where I found this beautiful image (circa 1945):